Case: U.S. v. City of Warren

4:12-cv-00086 | U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio

Filed Date: Jan. 3, 2012

Closed Date: Aug. 12, 2019

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

In 2006, the U.S. Department of Justice opened an investigation into policing practices in Warren, Ohio. In March of 2006, the DOJ issued a findings letter advising the Warren Police Department (WPD) to revise and update its policies and procedures to be consistent and comprehensive. The DOJ found that many officers did not follow WPD's policies, and among other things suggested that WPD revise its policies governing use of force and retrain its officers on its body-cavity and strip search poli…

In 2006, the U.S. Department of Justice opened an investigation into policing practices in Warren, Ohio. In March of 2006, the DOJ issued a findings letter advising the Warren Police Department (WPD) to revise and update its policies and procedures to be consistent and comprehensive. The DOJ found that many officers did not follow WPD's policies, and among other things suggested that WPD revise its policies governing use of force and retrain its officers on its body-cavity and strip search policies.

On January 13, 2012, the Department of Justice filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio against the City of Warren, Ohio, and its police department. The United States, represented by the Department of Justice, brought the action under 42 U.S.C. § 14141 and asked the court for a declaratory judgment that Warren Police Department's ("WPD") policing practices--especially the use of excessive force--infringed on individuals' constitutionally-protected rights. The United States also requested an order that the WPD cease such practices by implementing policies to remedy their transgressive effect.

According to the complaint, the WPD's failure to implement adequate policies to guide, train, supervise, and monitor its officers resulted in a pattern of conduct involving the use of excessive force. The complaint also included allegations that the WPD's policy governing the intake and investigation of complaints was inadequate and, furthermore, that it had failed to adequately review incidents involving the use of force and discipline officers who engaged in misconduct.

The parties quickly reached a settlement, which the Court (Judge Benita Y. Pearson) approved January 26, 2012. The agreement required the WPD to adopt new protocols involving the use a force, develop procedures to document and evaluate uses of force, institute systems for tracking and investigating citizens' complaints, and implement training encompassing constitutional policing. In addition, the DOJ reserved the right to monitor the WPD's compliance with the agreement, and the Court retained jurisdiction for at least two years to ensure compliance.

On July 3, 2019, the U.S. filed a motion stating that WPD had "faithfully and fully" complied with the requirements of the settlement agreement. The parties filed a joint motion to terminate the settlement agreement. Judge Pearson granted the motion on August 12, 2019. The case is now closed.

Summary Authors

David Postel (1/27/2014)

Will McCartney (3/25/2018)

Elizabeth Helpling (3/13/2020)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/12905409/parties/united-states-v-city-of-warren-ohio/


Judge(s)

Pearson, Benita Yalonda (Ohio)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Austin, Roy L. (District of Columbia)

Bharara, Preetinder S. (New York)

Brown Cutlar, Shanetta Y. (District of Columbia)

Dettelbach, Steven M (District of Columbia)

Geissler, R. Jonas (District of Columbia)

Heyer, Michelle L (Ohio)

Holder, Eric H. Jr. (District of Columbia)

Morse, Thomas Jackson (District of Columbia)

Mygatt, Timothy D (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Pearson, Benita Yalonda (Ohio)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Austin, Roy L. (District of Columbia)

Bharara, Preetinder S. (New York)

Brown Cutlar, Shanetta Y. (District of Columbia)

Dettelbach, Steven M (District of Columbia)

Geissler, R. Jonas (District of Columbia)

Heyer, Michelle L (Ohio)

Holder, Eric H. Jr. (District of Columbia)

Morse, Thomas Jackson (District of Columbia)

Mygatt, Timothy D (District of Columbia)

Perez, Thomas E. (District of Columbia)

Smith, Jonathan Mark (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Sanders, James E. (Ohio)

Taylor, Hilary S. (Ohio)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Hicks, Gregory V. (Ohio)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

United States v. Warren

Aug. 12, 2019 Docket

Re: Warren Police Department

DOJ Investigation of the Warren Police Department (Technical Assistance Letter)

No Court

March 2, 2006 Findings Letter/Report

Justice Department Settles with Warren, Ohio, Police Department

DOJ Investigation of the Warren Police Department

No Court

Jan. 13, 2012 Press Release
1

Complaint

USA v. City of Warren

Jan. 13, 2012 Complaint
4

Settlement Agreement

U.S. v. Warren (Ohio)

Jan. 26, 2012 Settlement Agreement

Compliance Assessment Letter

United States v. City of Warren

Dec. 18, 2013 Monitor/Expert/Receiver Report

Appendix - Settlement Agreement Compliance Chart - December 18, 2013

United States v. City of Warren

Dec. 18, 2013 Monitor/Expert/Receiver Report

Compliance Assessment Letter

United States v. City of Warren

No Court

Jan. 21, 2015 Findings Letter/Report

Appendix - Settlement Agreement Compliance Chart - January 21, 2015

United States v. City of Warren

No Court

Jan. 21, 2015 Pleading / Motion / Brief
9

Order

US v. City of Warren

Aug. 12, 2019 Order/Opinion

Resources

Title Description External URL

U.S. V. Warren, OH: The Case for Applying Aristotelian Modeling in Police Reform

Alicia McCaffrey

Police reform scholarship tends to emphasize the bureaucratic nature of problems in policing, and, in turn, proposes administrative solutions, such as providing more training or critiquing specific l… April 1, 2018 https://repository.law.umich.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1051&context=mjlr_caveat

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/12905409/united-states-v-city-of-warren-ohio/

Last updated May 19, 2022, 11:55 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

Complaint against City of Warren, Ohio, Warren Police Department.. Filed by United States of America. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet) (Heyer, Michelle) (Entered: 01/13/2012)

Jan. 13, 2012
8

Order

1 Proposed Order

View on PACER

July 3, 2019 PACER
9

Order on Motion for order

Aug. 12, 2019 PACER
2

Joint Motion to Enter the Parties' Settlement Agreement filed by City of Warren, Ohio, Warren Police Department, Plaintiff United States of America. Related document(s) 1 . (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Settlement Agreement, # 2 Proposed Order)(Heyer, Michelle) (Entered: 01/13/2012)

Jan. 13, 2012

Judge Benita Y. Pearson assigned to case. (BR,S) (Entered: 01/13/2012)

Jan. 13, 2012

Random Assignment of Magistrate Judge pursuant to Local Rule 3.1. In the event of a referral, case will be assigned to Magistrate Judge George J. Limbert. (BR,S) (Entered: 01/13/2012)

Jan. 13, 2012
3

Magistrate Consent Form issued. (BR,S) (Entered: 01/13/2012)

Jan. 13, 2012
4

Settlement Agreement Between The City of Warren and The United States of America (Department of Justice). Judge Benita Y. Pearson on 1/26/2012. (S,L) (Entered: 01/26/2012)

Jan. 26, 2012
5

Notice of Appearance for Hilary S. Taylor and James E. Sanders filed on behalf of City of Warren, Ohio, Warren Police Department. (Taylor, Hilary) Modified on 2/7/2012 (S,R). (Entered: 02/06/2012)

Feb. 6, 2012
6

Amended Attorney Appearance Hilary S. Taylor and James E. Sanders by Hilary S. Taylor filed by on behalf of City of Warren, Ohio, Warren Police Department. (Taylor, Hilary) (Entered: 02/10/2012)

Feb. 10, 2012
7

Attorney Appearance by Corey M. Sanders filed by on behalf of United States of America. (Sanders, Corey) (Entered: 09/12/2017)

Sept. 12, 2017

State / Territory: Ohio

Case Type(s):

Policing

Key Dates

Filing Date: Jan. 3, 2012

Closing Date: Aug. 12, 2019

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

United States of America (Department of Justice)

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

City of Warren (Warren, Trumbull), City

Defendant Type(s):

Law-enforcement

Case Details

Causes of Action:

34 U.S.C. § 12601 (previously 42 U.S.C. § 14141)

Constitutional Clause(s):

Unreasonable search and seizure

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Order Duration: 2012 - 2019

Content of Injunction:

Auditing

Implement complaint/dispute resolution process

Monitor/Master

Monitoring

Recordkeeping

Reporting

Issues

General:

Excessive force

Failure to discipline

Failure to supervise

Failure to train

Grievance Procedures

Inadequate citizen complaint investigations and procedures

Incident/accident reporting & investigations

Pattern or Practice

Search policies